Pakistan is open to international tourism

Visitors from all around the world can now enter Pakistan, regardless of their vaccination status. Foreign travelers are not required to quarantine. Non-fully vaccinated visitors are required to possess a negative PCR test result conducted within 72 hours prior to departing. Travel insurance is not required, however, it is recommended.

To travel to Pakistan, everyone needs a visa or electronic authorization. Most visitors can receive a visa entirely online and a large number of nationalities are also eligible for a visa on arrival (to be obtained at the port of entry before reaching immigration).

Most international flights to Pakistan have been resumed. Transiting via Pakistani airports is permitted for vaccinated travelers.

Arriving in Pakistan

  • If you are flying to Pakistan from abroad, you will most likely land at one of its biggest international airportsits main international airportJinnah International Airport KHI in Karachi, Allama Iqbal International Airport LHE in Lahore, and ,em>Benazir Bhutto International Airport ISB in Islamabad.

    These are also the best (and the cheapest) airports to fly into Pakistan. As they are used by many airlines serving the same routes, the competition for passengers is fierce – with decreased airfare as a result.
  • Once in Pakistan, take advantage of frequent intercity flights operated by domestic airlines such as Pakistan International Airlines, Airblue, AirSial, Serene Air, Fly Jinnah, and Alvir Airways. Those in-country carriers typically offer lower fares, operate from smaller airports located closer to city centers (you save on ground transportation), and provide flexible schedules – with a wide range of departure times.
  • Planning to explore the region? Popular destinations near Pakistan can be easily reached with regional low-cost carriers (LCCs) by the likes of Air Arabia, FlyDubai, FlyNas, Jazeera Airways, Pegasus Airlines, SalamAir, and Saudia. If you have a layover in Pakistan and plan to fly only a short distance to one of its neighboring countries, these budget airlines are an excellent way to save money. However, the “no-frills” carrier may not provide free checked baggage allowance, complimentary food, in-flight entertainment systems, and fast customer support. You may not even get to choose your seats, unless you pay extra.

Airports of Pakistan

Best airports to fly into Pakistan: Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Hyderabad, Islamabad
Pakistan has more than 60 airports, including main international airports – Jinnah International Airport KHI in Karachi, Allama Iqbal International Airport LHE in Lahore, Benazir Bhutto International Airport ISB in Islamabad, Bacha Khan International Airport PEW in Peshawar, Multan International Airport MUX in Multan, and Sialkot International Airport SKT in Sialkot.
Things to know before flying to Pakistan
Airlines flying to PakistanAir Arabia, Air China, Air Mauritius, Air Sial, AirBlue, British Airways, Cham Wings Airlines, China Southern Airlines, EgyptAir, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Fly Baghdad, Fly Jinnah, FlyDubai, FlyNas, Gulf Air, Iberia, Iran Air, Iraqi Airways, Jazeera Airways, KLM, Kuwait Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Neos Air, Oman Air, Pakistan International Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, SalamAir, Saudia, Serene Air, SriLankan Airlines, Thai Airways, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Atlantic
Airlines of PakistanPakistan International Airlines, Airblue, AirSial, Serene Air, Fly Jinnah, Alvir Airways, K2 Airways, Jet Green Airlines
Regular price (roundtrip)✈ €350 – €600 (from Europe)
✈ $750 – $950 (from USA)
Flight hacks 40% — 80% off regular fare
Main airports in PakistanJinnah International Airport (KHI) — Karachi
Allama Iqbal International Airport (LHE) — Lahore
Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB) — Islamabad
Bacha Khan International Airport (PEW) — Peshawar
Multan International Airport (MUX) — Multan
Sialkot International Airport (SKT) — Sialkot
Faisalabad International Airport (LYP) — Faisalabad
Quaid-e-Azam International Airport (UET) — Quetta
Shaikh Zayed International Airport (RYK) — Rahim Yar Khan
Turbat International Airport (TUK) — Turbat
Airline discountsDiscounted airline tickets to Pakistan (student/family/seniors/military)

Low-cost flights from Pakistan

Stay ahead of the game. Fly to popular destinations at a fraction of the regular fare.

Know your time zone

When checking flights and airport transfer times, ensure you know the local time zones. The departure/arrival times on your plane ticket and boarding pass are based on the time zone of the departure/arrival airport – this also applies to the connecting (layover) airports.

Pakistan has only one time zone – it observes Pakistan Standard Time (PKT) all year, which is GMT/UTC+5 time zone (five hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time). There are no daylight saving time clock changes.

Pakistan is 10 hours ahead of New York, and 6 hours behind Sydney. Interestingly, Pakistan is 30 minutes behind the center of India.

The cheapest time to fly to Pakistan

The cheapest time to fly to Pakistan is during the low (off-peak) tourist season between July and August. These are the rainiest months – monsoons affect the entire country, and the wet weather keeps most tourists from visiting Pakistan. Because prices are dictated by supply and demand, July and August are the best time to find some great deals on airline tickets and accommodation.

Duty-free rules

Pakistan is serious about the duty-free concession. There is a limit for bringing in certain items. Import of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited for both residents and non-residents regardless of their nationality. Also, you can carry only 200 cigarettes (or 500g of tobacco products). In addition to personal items, you may also carry items such as gifts up to a value of PKR 2,000.

Anything above those limits must be declared – at the airport, head to the Red Lane to declare your goods.

Next tips

Flights to Pakistan from United States and Canada

  • There are no direct flights from the US or Canada to Pakistan. However, most major hubs in Asia have non-stop flights to Pakistan, as do some larger airports in the Middle East – your journey will have at least one stop. There are no direct flights from the US to Pakistan. However, most major hubs in Asia have non-stop flights to Pakistan, as do some larger airports in the Middle East – your journey will have at least one stop.

    The US authorities banned direct flights from Pakistan after the 9/11 attacks, due to security concerns. However, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been trying to obtain clearance from the US Federal Aviation Administration and may soon be allowed to operate non-stop flights to three major American cities: New York, Chicago and Houston.

    There are three weekly direct flights from Canada (Toronto) to Pakistan (Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad) and back operated by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
  • Pakistan is well-served via one-stop flights from North America. Flights to Pakistan with one layover depart from most major North American airports, including Atlanta ATL, Dallas DFW, Denver DEN, Chicago ORD, Los Angeles LAX, Las Vegas DFW, Miami MIA, Seattle SEA, Houston IAH, New York JFK, and San Francisco SFO in the United States and Toronto YYZ, Vancouver YVR, Calgary LAS, and Montreal YUL in Canada.
  • The best airlines to fly to Pakistan from the US and Canada are: Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Pakistan International Airlines, Saudia, and Turkish Airlines. They are top full-service carriers, offering exceptional customer service, in-flight comfort, a generous checked baggage allowance, and reliable customer support channels – all included in the ticket price.

Pakistan from US & Canada.
Ticket prices in April 2024.

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Long waiting times when calling the helpline?

Social media is usually a faster way to reach the airline when a problem arises. Use Twitter or Facebook Messenger to contact the airline customer service and get a response and solution within minutes (see detailed guides for Air India, IndiGo, GoFirst, and others).

When it comes to Twitter, there’s one more trick to get in touch with the airline faster: mention the airline in a tweet about your issue (add “@airline_handle”, for example: “@Official_PIA” for the national carrier Pakistan International Airlines). The customer care team will often notice it immediately, ask you for a direct message, and respond privately.

Avoid currency exchange kiosks at airports

Airports are infamous for making an exuberant amount of money from their currency exchanges due to the extremely high margins, and Pakistani airports are no exception. Airport kiosks usually charge higher fees which are sometimes hidden within the poorer exchange rates they offer – their business is based on charging extra for being a convenient, last-minute option.

It is always a good idea to bring cash with you to Pakistan, as the country is a cash economy. The national currency is the Pakistani Rupee (PKR), with an approximate exchange rate of 1 USD = 160 PKR.

Getting money from ATMs can be a struggle (especially in the northern part of the country) and not all banks accept foreign cards. As Islamic banks do not work with foreign cards, try ATMs that are operated by Bank Alfalah, Habib Bank, and MCB Bank to withdraw cash.

Next tips

Flights to Pakistan from UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and other countries in Europe

  • There are no direct flights from Europe to Pakistan — you’ll need to get a connecting flight from elsewhere in the Middle East or in Asia. Direct flights from Europe to Pakistan are about 6-8 hours long. Only some of the largest European hubs have a nonstop connection to Pakistan — Barcelona, Istanbul, and London. Those flights arrive at either Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, or Sialkot airports, and are operated by Pakistan International Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, and Virign Atlantic.
  • Airlines that frequently fly from the UK, Germany, France, and other European countries to Pakistan include British Airways, Emirates, FlyNas, KLM, Pakistan International Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, and Virign Atlantic.
  • Consider departure airports in neighboring countries to increase your chance of spotting the best deal. Especially look for large airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines. For example, if you live in Western Europe, check air tickets to Pakistan from Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. Leverage frequent promotions from European budget carriers like RyanAir, EasyJet, and Eurowings to reach a major hub; from there, take a cheaper long-haul flight to your final destination, potentially saving hundreds of euros.
  • These major European airports are excellent departure points for trips to Pakistan: London LHR and Manchester MAN in the United Kingdom, Frankfurt FRA and Munich MUC in Germany, Paris CDG and Nice NCE in France, Amsterdam AMS in the Netherlands, Madrid MAD and Barcelona BCN in Spain, Rome FCO and Milano MXP in Italy, Brussels BRU in Belgium, Copenhagen OSL in Denmark, Oslo OSL in Norway, Stockholm ARN in Sweden, Zurich ZRH in Switzerland, Lisbon LIS in Portugal, Vienna VIE in Austria, Warsaw WAW in Poland, Prague PRG in the Czech Republic, and Dublin DUB in Ireland.

Pakistan from Europe.Flight schedule and ticket prices.

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Check different departure airports

Consider neighboring cities when choosing the departure airport – especially look for larger cities with airports that serve as hubs for multiple airlines.

For example, if you live in West Europe, check prices for flights departing from Paris, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Rome, or Vienna. In 9 out of 10 cases, the cheapest flight to Pakistan will depart from one of these hubs, and it may be €500 less or more than your first choice. Yes, you may have to fly a few hundred kilometers to this hub, but low-cost airlines like EasyJet, RyanAir, or WizzAir will happily take you there for €50 – €100.

Use a similar tactic if you depart from the US or another region. It’s one of the best ways to save hundreds on trips.

Book flights from many departure airports
By entering more than one departure city in the flight search engine (at the top of this page), you can quickly find the airport with the cheapest flights to your destination

Last-minute flights to Pakistan. The real cost of convenience.

Last-minute flights are often touted as a great way to save money, but the reality is far from it. Booking last-minute flights to Pakistan almost always never works out.

Based on years of research, the airlines know what people are willing to pay for specific flights and dates. To make the most money, they will sell their cheapest fares first and then increase the prices right before the flight to take advantage of these travelers who are willing to pay the premium price for late booking.

Occasionally, airlines can offer last-minute deals to fill the remaining seats, but these are for unusual times and unpopular places. Popular destinations and dates tend to sell out quickly.

Planning ahead is key to securing a good deal on your flight. Last-minute flight deals are hard to come by, so as soon as you have a tentative travel timeline, book your flight. The earlier you book, the more likely you are to save money. If you are looking for a good deal, the best time to book your flight to Pakistan is 2-8 months before the takeoff.

Airlines of Pakistan

Pakistan’s national flag carrier is Pakistan International Airlines (PAI). It is the largest and oldest carrier in the country, operating a fleet of more than 30 aircraft from its three hubs in Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore. PAI offers the largest choice of non-stop and indirect flights to Pakistan from more than 50 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and North America.

The three other Pakistani airlines are Airblue, AirSial, and Serene Air. Among the planned airlines are Fly Jinnah, Alvir Airways, Q-Airlines, K2 Airways, and Jet Green Airlines. These smaller carriers are mostly focusing on short-haul routes, offering flights at lower prices in comparison to full-service PAI. However, because they manage affordable tickets by cutting down on their operation costs, they may not provide free baggage allowance, inflight refreshments, meals, or onboard entertainment. In most cases, their tickets are fixed and non-refundable in case of no show-up or cancellation.

Flights to Pakistan from Australia and New Zealand

  • Australia and New Zealand offer robust flight networks to key APAC locations, Pakistan included. While domestic carriers like Qantas, Jetstar Airways, Virgin Australia, and Air New Zealand provide solid options, several major international airlines also serve these routes. These include ANA, Cathay Pacific, EmiratesGaruda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways — expanding your choices for travel between Australasia and Asia.

    There are no direct flights from Australia or New Zealand to Pakistan. You’ll need a layover in one of the major hubs in Asia.
  • Airlines have different pricing strategies for different routes. A flight to Pakistan could be significantly cheaper from Sydney than from Melbourne, depending on airline partnerships, demand, and even time of year. Compare fares from different international airports in Australia: Sydney SYD, Brisbane BNE, Melbourne MEL, Perth PER, Adelaide ADL, Cairns CNS, Gold Coast OOL, Canberra CBR, Darwin DRW, Hobart HBA, Alice Springs ASP, and in New Zealand: Auckland AKL, Wellington WLG, Christchurch CHC, Queenstown ZQN, Dunedin DUD, and Hamilton HLZ.
  • If you’re looking to save, consider flying from Australia or New Zealand to a primary Asian hub, then catch a connecting flight to Pakistan with a regional budget airline such as Air Arabia, FlyDubai, FlyNas, Jazeera Airways, Pegasus Airlines, SalamAir, and Saudia.

    For the initial leg of your trip, full-service airlines such as Qantas or Virgin Atlantic offer premium comfort and exceptional service, albeit at a premium price. However, many Asian airlines, including budget carriers, operate out of Australia and frequently feature sales and promotions. For instance, AirAsia runs deals to Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore; Cebu Pacific to Manila; Scoot to Singapore; VietJet Air to Ho Chi Minh City; Jetstar to Seoul, Singapore, and Tokyo; Bamboo Airways to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Beijing; Batik Air to Jakarta and Singapore.

Australia & New Zealand to Pakistan.Flight ticket prices today.

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Booking group flights to Pakistan

Flights are cheaper when purchased in bulk rather than as individual tickets. Booking group flights to Pakistan can be a cost-effective option for a school trip, family reunion, or corporate group traveling to a conference.

To qualify for the special group rate, the group must usually have at least 10 passengers. Discounts depend on the airline, group size, and travel dates, and typically range from 5% to 20% off the regular airfare.

Airlines and flight search websites typically limit automatic group bookings to 10 passengers. This limit reflects the complexity of managing larger groups, which require personalized service and more time to coordinate. To get the price quote for your group, you’ll need to contact the airline or a travel agent directly.

Most airlines have a group booking form or phone number (see examples at Emirates and Qantas). Fill out the form, and the airline will come back to you with the proposed group rate. If your group is large and a scheduled flight cannot accommodate everyone, the airline may offer you a charter flight.

Additionally, there are various perks that your group may be eligible for:

  • free seats (complimentary tickets for every 10 or 20 passengers that book together)
  • free checked baggage allowance
  • dedicated group check-in counter at the airport
  • cabin crew who speak your group’s language
  • flexible booking terms (that allow changes without fees)

Booking group flights to Pakistan is similar to booking individual flights. The main difference is that you’ll need to provide personal information for all passengers, and the airline may request additional details, such as meal preferences or accommodations for disabled travelers. A deposit – typically 10-50% of the total cost – may be required to secure the booking. However, some airlines offer deferred payment options where you can secure a reservation with a booking fee and pay the balance later.

If you’re open to different airlines or want more personalized service, a travel agent may be a better choice. Travel agents may have access to discounted group rates to Pakistan and can help with logistics and scheduling.

“Hot seats” on long-haul flights

Those days seat selection is considered an optional, extra paid service – seats with extra legroom (front and exit rows) are usually priced higher. However, if you’re about to take a long-haul flight to Pakistan, those “hot seats” are worth considering – expect to pay $50-$100, which is much less than upgrading to Premium Economy.

If you want to choose your seats, do this early (ideally during the booking) for a more extensive selection of available options.

Booking hot seats (preffered seats with extra legroom) on plane
Choosing a hot seat during the flight booking process is usually worth it. For a reasonable price, you will get more room to stretch your legs, as well as a wider seat pitch.
Next tips

Flights to Pakistan from Bali, Bangkok, Delhi, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, and other major hubs in Asia

  • Asia is probably the best continent for short-haul and mid-haul flying. The sheer scale of this most populous region on Earth is reflected in the type of aircraft operating many shorter routes: intra-Asia flyers benefit from comfortable, wide-bodied aircraft by the likes of Boeing 777, 787 or Airbus A350, A330, and A380. When booking your flight to Pakistan look for these bigger planes as they will almost always give you the best experience in every cabin, including better seat pitches, higher ceilings, and larger overhead bin space.
  • Asia is also home to most of the world’s best airlines. There are only ten airlines that received the prestigious 5-star mark of quality from Skytrax, and all of them are from Asia: ANA, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines. Choosing one of these airlines for your trip to Pakistan will guarantee a pleasant journey – delicious meals served during the flight, great in-flight entertainment, and above-average airline customer service.
  • Asia is extremely well served by low-cost regional airlines. If you are visiting Pakistan and want to see several other countries on a tight budget, they often have great sales with rock-bottom prices, while still offering a relatively comfortable flight experience. Among the best Asian budget airlines you can book without hesitation are AirAsiaCebu Pacific, Citilink, FlyDubai, Indigo, Jetstar Airways, Scoot, SpiceJet. The cons? Being no-frills airlines they may not provide free baggage allowance, inflight meals, or onboard entertainment. The departure times may also be quite inconvenient as they try to save money by flying at off-peak hours.
  • Most major Asian airports have convenient and frequent flights to Pakistan — including Changi (Singapore), Dubai (UAE), Hong Kong (China), Incheon (Seoul, South Korea), Indira Gandhi (New Delhi, India), KLIA (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Narita (Tokyo, Japan), Denpasar (Bali, Indonesia), Soekarno–Hatta (Jakarta, Indonesia), Ninoy Aquino (Manila, Philippines), Suvarnabhumi (Bangkok, Thailand), Taoyuan (Taipei, Taiwan), and others.

Pakistan from major Asian airports.Flight prices in April 2024.

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Lost luggage prevention: Essential tips

Every year, airlines handle millions of bags and a small percentage never make it to their final destinations. Avoid lost luggage nightmares on your trip to Pakistan by removing old tags from previous flights on your suitcases – they can confuse baggage handlers and conveyor belt scanners. It’s also a good idea to label your luggage with your name, address, and phone number (both inside and outside the case) and attach a GPS-tracker device like Apple AirTag or Samsung SmartTag.

For peace of mind, consider purchasing travel insurance to cover the full value of your luggage, as airline liability usually doesn’t reflect the actual value of the baggage content.

“Book Flights Now, Pay Later” — is it worth it?

Booking a flight and paying for it later has recently become a popular trend in the travel industry, with many airlines offering delayed payment plans. They will allow you to make flight reservation to Pakistan now and then pay the bill in installments. But should you take advantage?

Book Now Pay Later (BNPL) plans are essentially short-term personal loans. By partnering with financial companies such as Affirm, Afterpay, PayPal Credit, Fly Now Pay Later, and Uplift, airlines can offer their loan services on the checkout page. When you book the flight with the BNPL option, the company pays the airline, and you repay the loan in installments over a set period (usually up to 24 months), with a set interest rate.

BNPL providers have varying terms and fees. Some may offer interest-free loans but have fees for late payments and require forced autoplay on your bank account, while others may have high annual percentage rates (up to 30-40% APR). There may also be transaction fees, down payment requirements, and many companies even run a credit check on the traveler.

Fly now pay later - delayed payments for flight reservations
Fly Now Pay Later works with numerous popular travel brands to provide delayed payment options

Among the airlines that offer a “fly now, pay later” option are American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Qantas, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Southwest, and Virgin Atlantic.

Is BNPL financing worth it? If paid off on time, interest-free delayed payment on your flight ticket to Pakistan can be a great way to free up your cash flow. However, there may be safer alternatives available – such as taking advantage of an introductory 0% interest offer on a credit card or using flight price “freezing” services like Hopper.

Proof of onward travel – a simple hack

Travelers who go on long trips often don’t have a set itinerary and fly on one-way tickets. The problem? For many APAC countries, proof of onward travel is a legal requirement. If you arrive at the airport without an onward ticket (from Pakistan to another country), you’ll either be forced to buy one online or forbidden from boarding the plane altogether.

The cheapest solution? Renting an onward ticket! Use the websites such as OneWayFly or OnwardTicket to get a flight reservation for a limited amount of time (usually 2 to 14 days). They work by actually booking you on a real flight out of Pakistan and giving you a confirmable flight reservation with a PNR (Passenger Name Record) under your name. After the time limit, your spot on the flight is automatically canceled. Such “temporary tickets” tend to cost anywhere from $10 to $20.

Confirmed flight ticket reservation
Proof of onward travel: confirmed flight ticket reservation (source: OnwardTicket)